After the Centre, the Delhi government has now put on hold the hike in Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief for government employees and pensioners in view of the country's financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief, however, will continue to be paid at the current rate of 17 per cent.
The freeze will impact around 2.2 lakh employees and will be on from January this year till July 2021, the finance department said in an order.
Last month, the union cabinet had hiked the dearness allowance or DA by 4 per cent from the existing 17 per cent to 21 per cent. It was then kept on hold last week as revenues have been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
If the states follow the Centre's example, the combined savings will be 1.20 lakh crore, which will help in the battle against coronavirus, the government had said. Several states like Uttarakhand soon followed suit.
A component of salary and pension of government employees, Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief are meant to balance the rising living costs due to inflation.
"The Centre's order on the issue of DA and DR has been endorsed by the Delhi government and it will also be applicable on Delhi government employees and pensioners," a Delhi government official told news agency PTI.
The country's economy, which was at its weakest pace in over ten years, was hit severely after the coronavirus pandemic hit. The country has been under lockdown since March 25; people are allowed to step out only for essentials. The lockdown will be on till May 3.
Delhi has the third highest coronavirus positive cases in the country with over 3,300 cases. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government's move on DA came soon after the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed 31,000. There have been over a thousand fatalities across the country due to the deadly virus.